Archive for the ‘evolution’ category: Page 7

Apr 26, 2023

Researchers develop new method for layered structure detection in open star clusters

Posted by in categories: evolution, space

Morphological study of open clusters can provide observational evidence for tracing the formation mechanism of star clusters and help to explore the evolution of star clusters.

The morphology of open clusters on the two-dimensional (2D) projection planes mostly conforms to the core-shell structure. However, whether this layered structure actually exists in three-dimensional (3D) space is not known.

Recently, researchers from the Xinjiang Astronomical Observatory (XAO) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences proposed a rose diagram overlaying method based on Gaia data to study the 3D layered structure of open samples within 500 parsec (pc) near the sun.

Apr 25, 2023

Scientists Grow Bigger Monkey Brains Using Human Genes, Replicating Evolution

Posted by in categories: evolution, neuroscience

Scientists have successfully grown a monkey brain to be larger than its regular size by using a human brain gene, replicating that historical moment when humans and primates were set apart.

Apr 25, 2023

‘Goldilocks zone’ may not be a good metric for whether life exists on exoplanets, say astrobiologists

Posted by in categories: alien life, evolution

Most exoplanets lying in the habitable zones around stars are in fact inhospitable to plant life as we know it. That is according to a new study from microbiologists and astronomers at the University of Georgia who say that taking into account the light a planet receives as well as its ability to hold liquid water is a better definition of whether life could exist on other planets.

The Habitable Zone (HZ) is traditionally defined to be the range of distances around a star where an exoplanet can support liquid water on its surface. Too far, and the planet remains frozen like Mars. Too close and the oceans evaporate, as happened to Venus. The zone in the middle is neither too hot, nor too cold, but just right – the so-called “Goldilocks zone”.

Nothing certain is known about the properties and requirements of alien life. However, there are generally two schools of thought in astrobiology. One is that evolution on other planets can figure out ways to sidestep seemingly insurmountable barriers to life as we know it, while others claim that life is everywhere bounded by the same universal physical principles, and can thus only operate a certain way, similar to as on Earth.

Apr 24, 2023

Trillions of Miles Away — Distant Supernovae May Impact the Diversity of Life on Earth

Posted by in categories: biological, evolution, habitats, space, sustainability

A new study published in Ecology and Evolution by Henrik Svensmark of DTU Space has shown that the explosion of stars, also known as supernovae, has greatly impacted the diversity of marine life over the past 500 million years.

The fossil record has been extensively studied, revealing significant variations in the diversity of life forms throughout geological history. A fundamental question in evolutionary biology is identifying the processes responsible for these fluctuations.

The new research uncovers a surprising finding: the fluctuation in the number of nearby supernovae closely corresponds to changes in biodiversity of marine genera over the last 500 million years. This correlation becomes apparent when the marine diversity curve is adjusted to account for changes in shallow coastal marine regions, which are significant as they provide habitat for most marine life and offer new opportunities for evolution as they expand or shrink. Thus, alterations in available shallow marine regions play a role in shaping biodiversity.

Apr 23, 2023

How does our brain create a coherent image when we look at different objects?

Posted by in categories: evolution, neuroscience

When we look at something, the different properties of the image are processed in different brain regions. But how does our brain make a coherent image out of such a fragmented representation? A new review by Pieter Roelfsema sheds light on two existing hypotheses in the field.

When we open our eyes, we immediately see what is there. The efficiency of our vision is a remarkable achievement of evolution. The introspective ease with which we perceive our visual surroundings masks the sophisticated machinery in our brain that supports . The image that we see is rapidly analyzed by a complex hierarchy of cortical and subcortical brain regions.

Neurons in low level brain regions extract basic features such as line orientation, depth and the color of local image elements. They send the information to several mid-level brain areas. Neurons in these areas code for other features, such as motion direction, color and shape fragments.

Apr 22, 2023

Exposing the Strange Blueprint Behind “Reality” (Donald Hoffman Interview)

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution, mathematics, neuroscience, quantum physics

Donald Hoffman interview on spacetime, consciousness, and how biological fitness conceals reality. We discuss Nima Arkani-Hamed’s Amplituhedron, decorated permutations, evolution, and the unlimited intelligence.

The Amplituhedron is a static, monolithic, geometric object with many dimensions. Its volume codes for amplitudes of particle interactions & its structure codes for locality and unitarity. Decorated permutations are the deepest core from which the Amplituhedron gets its structure. There are no dynamics, they are monoliths as in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Continue reading “Exposing the Strange Blueprint Behind ‘Reality’ (Donald Hoffman Interview)” »

Apr 20, 2023

Comb jellies’ unique fused neurons challenge evolution ideas

Posted by in categories: evolution, neuroscience

Fused neurons suggest ctenophores’ nervous system evolved independently of that in other animals.

Apr 20, 2023

Dr. Oded Rechavi: Genes & the Inheritance of Memories Across Generations | Huberman Lab Podcast

Posted by in categories: biological, evolution, genetics, neuroscience

In this episode, my guest is Oded Rechavi, Ph.D., professor of neurobiology at Tel Aviv University and expert in how genes are inherited, how experiences shape genes and remarkably, how some memories of experiences can be passed via genes to offspring. We discuss his research challenging long-held tenets of genetic inheritance and the relevance of those findings to understanding key biological and psychological processes including metabolism, stress and trauma. He describes the history of the scientific exploration of the “heritability of acquired traits” and how epigenetics and RNA biology can account for some of the passage of certain experience-based memories. He discusses the importance of model organisms in scientific research and describes his work on how stressors and memories can be passed through small RNA molecules to multiple generations of offspring in ways that meaningfully affect their behavior. Nature vs. nurture is a commonly debated theme; Dr. Rechavi’s work represents a fundamental shift in our understanding of that debate, as well as genetic inheritance, brain function and evolution.

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Apr 17, 2023

Humans Are Erasing Billions of Years of Data From Ancient Meteorites

Posted by in categories: evolution, space

A popular and easy method for validating whether or not a chunk of rock is a meteorite, and what kind of meteorite it is, has been inadvertently erasing invaluable information locked inside.

The use of rare-earth magnets such as neodymium erases and overwrites the magnetic record locked inside ferromagnetic minerals in meteorites, scientists from MIT in the US and Paris Cité University in France found. Since many meteorites that fall to Earth have a significant iron content, this means we’re losing important data on the way magnetic fields in space have altered these meteorites over billions of years.

Meteorites provide invaluable records of planetary formation and evolution. Studies of their paleomagnetism have constrained accretion in the protoplanetary disk, the thermal evolution and differentiation of planetesimals, and the history of planetary dynamos.

Apr 17, 2023

We May Finally Know How Our Eyesight Evolved, And It’s Not From Our Branch of Life

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution

The evolution of the human eye has long been considered one of biology’s more challenging mysteries, drawing debate over the sequence of steps required to turn rudimentary sensitivity to light into a complex photographic system.

New research suggests some components of vertebrate vision may not have been shaped incrementally as their genes passed down family lines, but were ‘stolen’ from entirely different branches of life.

“At least one innovation that led to the current structure of vertebrate eyes did not occur from stepwise “tinkering” with genes that exist in other animals, but came from introduction of novel DNA from bacteria by horizontal gene transfer,” explains molecular biologist Matt Daugherty from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) on Twitter.

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